Science of Self ™ Knowledge Centre

Questions for Coaching: 85 All-Purpose Killer Questions

Jan 28, 2020

What follows is a list of all-purpose questions that, while perhaps best suited to coaching conversations, can be applied to a wide variety of contexts, supplementing any facilitator or curious human’s mental tool kit. Mix, match or re-mould as you see fit.

85 Killer Coaching Questions

  1. What’s on your mind? What would you like to discuss?
  2. How will I know you’ve got your money’s worth from our time together?
  3. What’s the most important thing you want to take away from our time together?
  4. What does success look like?
  5. What’s your goal?
  6. What’s the context?
  7. Why is that important to you?
  8. How could we put that in the form of a goal or objective?
  9. Could we make that even [simpler, clearer, easier]?
  10. What’s essential?
  11. What do you need from the situation?
  12. What’s nice-to-have vs. must-have?
  13. In what way, specifically?
  14. Can you describe a week in your life?
  15. What would a week-in-the-life of the best version of you look like?
  16. How long has this been an issue?
  17. How much [time, effort, energy, thought] have you been giving this?
  18. Is this new territory or old territory for you?
  19. What, if anything, have you already tried?
  20. How are your habits helping / hindering you?
  21. How are your systems helping / hindering you?
  22. How is your environment helping / hindering you?
  23. If you keep going that way, what’s likely to happen?
  24. Could you give me an example?
  25. Do you have a set of guiding principles or values?
  26. Do you have a foundational vision or mission?
  27. Thinking out loud, could you give me a rough idea?
  28. How do you think that would play out?
  29. If you had to pick [2, 3, 5] things, what would they be?
  30. How would you prioritise those / put those in order?
  31. What are the pro’s and con’s?
  32. Are there individual pro's that might outweigh a heap of negatives?
  33. What risks might you be overlooking?
  34. Putting aside what you think you should do; what things could you do?
  35. What’s getting in the way?
  36. Thinking ahead, what does the downstream, long-term impact look like?
  37. What do you need to communicate to others to help you progress?
  38. How would you describe the situation without assigning any value judgements?
  39. Are we addressing symptoms or causes?
  40. What’s the real [problem, cause, root issue]?
  41. If you [changed, added, removed] that, how would it affect the situation?
  42. Would that result in a net positive gain or net negative loss?
  43. What does your head tell you?
  44. What does your heart tell you?
  45. What models, blueprints, or templates are available?
  46. Can you break that down for me?
  47. If you broke that into [2, 3, 5] steps what would they be?
  48. On a scale of 1-10, where would you rate that?
  49. What are your options?
  50. What’s the most practical action?
  51. Who has already solved this problem?
  52. What problem solving methods do you depend on?
  53. What else is available? ls, technology, information, people, systems)
  54. 54. Who can help?
  55. Have you exhausted all possibilities?
  56. What if you tried / tested another approach for a short time?
  57. Is that the best way of looking at it?
  58. Is there another way?
  59. What if you did the opposite?
  60. By when?
  61. What’s your deadline?
  62. Do you need to decide now?
  63. How is your emotional state affecting your judgement?
  64. What’s working well?
  65. What’s not working?
  66. What do you want more of?
  67. What do you want less of?
  68. Best case scenario?
  69. Worst case scenario?
  70. What’s not negotiable?
  71. What’s a deal breaker?
  72. What can you cut / eliminate / remove?
  73. If I came to you with that problem, what would you say?
  74. From the outside looking in, how does the situation look?
  75. If that wasn’t an issue, what would you do?
  76. What’s the cost of doing nothing?
  77. What’s the shortest distance between you and your outcome?
  78. What’s the easiest action step you can take right now?
  79. What if you took massive action?
  80. Where will you go from here?
  81. What are the next steps?
  82. What does the process of accountability look like?
  83. Is there a best time to take action?
  84. What research or further reflection needs to happen?
  85. What follow up needs to happen?

Topics: Coaching & Mentoring

Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."


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